Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Lila: Rasollasa and Bhavollasa 

When Swamini takes Her meal, Tulasi-manjari very carefully offers Radha the most exquisite incense and fans Radha according to the time of the year. Radha doesn’t know whether She tastes the nectar of Krishna’s lips or whether She eats the remnants of Krishna’s food!

After Sri Radhika and Her sakhis have relished the nectar of Krishna’s lips, Tulasi serves them rose and camphor scented drinking water. Tulasi’s pure love gives the water an extra flavour. While Radharani relaxes the manjaris joke with Radha as they did when Radha first fell in love with Krishna.

Mallika-manjari says, “Sakhi Radhe! Who has stolen Your heart? Tell us the truth! You are not so eager anymore as before to read books or to teach Your parrots eloquent verses! We never hear You gossiping or joking with Your friends anymore! How beautifully You were playing Your vina! But where has this all gone now?”

Manjari Tattva: Eagerness is Life

The manjaris are love personified. What to speak of the kinkaris, the whole of Vraja-dhama is the kingdom of love. When Radha meets Krishna She relishes rasollasa and when Sri Radha is separated from Shyam She tastes bhavollasa.

Radha feels a deeper bliss when She is separated from Krishna then when Radha is with Krishna. As Swamini meditates like that it is as if Shyam appears directly before Radha. The sweetness of clearly seeing Krishna enlivens the eyes. But still even the endlessly sweet Shyamsundara is fully subdued when He sees the natural sweetness of Radhika’s glances.

Eagerness to experience and taste all these things is the life of raga bhajana. The acharyas are extraordinary knowers of rasa. Their association can be attained by studying their books.

By hearing and discussing them and becoming absorbed in the mood of the acharyas, devotees can also become absorbed in these moods. Rasa can be relished when we accept the mood of the great saints.

Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Tattva: Mood for Vraja Vasa

The devotee should know that one’s bhajan is in a diseased state if one feels satisfied. One can measure one’s advancement and taste for bhajan by how much one is greedy, eager and unsatisfied with one’s experience of spiritual flavours. How eager Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami were!

All the pastime-places of Radha Govinda Yugala are still here in Vraja Mandal. Even today Radha-Krishna’s lilas are going on. When the devotee lives in Vraja one should feel: “O Radha-Shyam! Every day Your enjoying Your pastimes here in Vraja. Why I cannot see them? Please let me see Your ecstatic prema-filled lilas. Let me be so fortunate!

“I’m living in Vrndavana, the kingdom of devotional enthusiasm, but I’m simply engrossed in bodily consciousness. How unfortunate I am! When I hear and chant the great words of the acharyas I will certainly attain that devotional eagerness.”

The devotees should eagerly wander from forest to forest of Vraja, crying and crying: “O Vrndavana! O Vrajavasis! O Vrndavana’s sky, wind, trees, vines, deer and birds! Let everyone know that I am Radha ’s maidservant! You all be kind to me! Make this consciousness within me very firm!

‘’Radhe! Where are You? This whole forest is illuminated by Your golden splendour! Keep me alive with just one drop of Your spendor. Day and night this is the only prayer in my heart.”

We should stay in Vraja-vana in this mood, not having a liking for anything else. But unfortunately a soul like me likes many other things like profit, adoration, distinction, money and whatnot, despite living in Vraja-vana. Where will I find this treasure of my heart, for whom I have given my life?

Manjari Lila: Manjaris Revive Radhika

On Swamini’s order Tulasi-manjari has gone to Nandishvara to serve Shyam Radha’s cooked dishes. After Shyamasundara has eaten, mother Yashoda lovingly gives some of Krishna’s sweet remnants to Tulasi, so that she can bring them to Swamini. Dhanishtha had secretly mixed some of Krishna’s adharamrita in it.

Meanwhile, in Yavat, Sri Radhika has fainted out of powerful feelings of separation from Krishna. The sakhis cannot bring Radha back to consciousness. Then Tulasi returns from Nandishvara and sprinkles Radha’s earholes with drops of the nectaean stories about Krishna.

Sri Radhika immediately revives, sits up says: “O sakhi! In My dream My desert-like ears suddenly felt a shower of nectar!” Upon seeing Tulasi-manjari before Her, Srimati embraced her with extraordinary love knowing that Tulasi has come back after serving Krishna wholeheartedly.

Swamini asks Tulasi, “What did mother Yashoda say?”

Tulasi says, “Hey Shyamju! How can I describe mother Yashoda’s affection as she held her forehead on mine calling me Your maidservant?”

Swamini pulls Tulasi on Her lap and repeatedly asks her, “Has Krishna eaten nicely? I couldn’t cook so nicely! I’m sure Krishna didn’t like the sweets! You were nearby weren’t you?”

Swamini thoroughly questions Tulasi, and fortunate Tulasi gives sweet answers to all the questions. Thus rendering a wonderful service by submerging Swamini in the nectar ocean of talks about Krishna.

Radhika asked, “Did Krishna say anything to you?”

Tulasi replied, “How could Krishna speak in front of His superiors? But with His eyes Krishna asked me if He could meet You tonight in Vrndavana? I answered Krishna with hints from my eyes, ‘Surely You will meet Your beloved sweetheart Radhika!’”

Swamini says, “Tulasi! Look at Me once! I’m so unfortunate that I could not see Krishna personally! So let Me see if Krishna is hidden in your eyes or not!” Then Radharani gazes into Tulasi’s eyes without blinking, and sees that her eyes are full of tears and her body is shivering of ecstatic love.

Radha says, “O Tulasi-manjari! When I look into your eyes I can understand that you have seen Krishna! Otherwise your eyes could never have looked so beautiful!”

What a wonderful service Tulasi renders by carrying Krishna’s picture to Swamini in her eyes! Blessed is this maidservant! Now Sri Radha starts to take Her meal. How wonderful is Tulasi’s expertise in service.

Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Lila: Serving Beside Radha

Meanwhile, one gopi named Candanakala comes to Yavat, and tells Radhika that Queen Yashoda has ordered Her to cook Krishna’s evening meal. Rasavati Rai personally begins to cook sweets for Shyam just to remain patient. Swamini wears a thin sari, and Radha’s head is not covered with Her veil because Srimati is in Her own home.

One new manjari, Mallika-dasi, then cleans Radha’s kitchen, makes a fire in the stove, cleans the pot and puts it on the stove. Mallika brings water, coconuts, ghee, small bananas, sugar and farina.

Then she grinds black pepper and hands it to Radha while Radha blissfully sits down on a stool. Mallika-dasi’s eyes flood with delight while watching Priyaji prepare Amrita Kelika pies and other savories for Her Priyatama.

While assisting Srimati, Mallika-dasi jokes with Swamini saying, “Hey Shyamaju! The cooling camphor and sandalpaste I just put on Your body to extinguish the fire of Your separation from Krishna immediately dried into dust! But how amazing! Now the fire You’re using to cook cakes for Krishna is quickly cooling You off!” Hearing this, Kishori then affectionately taps Mallika on the cheek with Her finger.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Manjari Lila: Radha Trusts Her Manjaris

After cooking Krishna’s evening meal in Yavat, Swamini puts all the preparations on golden plates and covers them with sheets. Sriji has full faith that Tulasi-manjari and the other maidservants will feed Krishna as if She Herself is doing it.

Tightly hugging Tulasi-manjari, Radha says: “Tulasi, go now to Nandagram! I cannot go Myself, but I will be as much satisfied when you feed Krishna as when I would do it Myself!”

Srimati holds Tulasi to Her chest and lovingly hands her the dishes for Her Prananatha. How affectionate Swamini is to Tulasi-manjari!

The practicing devotee should awaken feelings like: “O! Will I not get such affection from Radha even one day in my life? My heart cries for getting that affection! O Radhaju, please have mercy and keep me at the feet of Your Rupa and Your Tulasi!”

Crying like this, the sadhaka will faint and bring down the shower of Swamini’s mercy. How mercifully Swamini keeps the maidservant at Her chest! Such compassion as the maidservants enjoy cannot be found anywhere else.

“O Swamini! I want to spend my whole life with the awareness that I am Your maidservant!” If one cherishes this desire one will indeed be able to spend one’s whole life in this mood.

The manjari prays, “I have to serve Shyam while my heart is merged in Swamini’s heart and my eyes are merged in Madhavi’s eyes.” Such a sweet service cannot be found anywhere!

Radharani considers the kinkaris to be Her own: “My Rupa! My Tulasi! My Mallika! My maidservant!”

Mallika-dasi prays, “O Swamini! I don’t want anything else but to belong to Your group! Please take me by the hand and accept me as Your maidservant!”

Such an aspiration should also awaken within the hearts of the practicing devotees. What an excellent service this is! The Goswamis cried for such service with breaking hearts!

Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Tattva: Radha’s Speciality

Although millions of gopis dance ecstatically during the Rasa-dance Krishna’s gaze is fixed only on Sri Radha. How wonderfully sweet are these pastimes! During the rasa, Shyam embraces one gopi, kisses one gopi and enjoy intimately with another. Krishna can please everyone, but only Sri Radhika can please Krishna. This is Radha’s speciality!

Sri Ramananda Raya told Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: “Not even a billion gopis can extinguish the blazing fire of Krishna’s lusty desires.” (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.8.116) Only Radhika can do this, so just see the unique glories of Sri Radha!

Manjari Tattva:  Awaken Divine Wants

While doing bhajan the mind must meet the minds of the acharyas. For attaining Radharani’s service the devotee must give one’s whole mind to Radha, giving up everything else! Srimati Radharani’s face looks very beautiful when Radha looks at Her dedicated maidservants after they have satisfied Radha with their seva.

The neophyte should not serve as one likes. One should serve according to Sri Radha’s wish, following in the footsteps of those who understand Radha’s mind.

The Gaudiya Vaisnavas taking shelter of Radha-Krishna Yugala bhajana should wholeheartedly follow in the footsteps of Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. They are Radharani’s manjaris from Vraja Dhama who have descended to earth with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to teach expertise in serving Radha and Krishna.

They are very eager to teach the world how the maidservants must serve Radha Govinda Yugala. Because their books Stavamala and Stavavalli are filled with their experiences and expertise in bhajana, they are most valuable and relishable for raganuga sadhakas. From these confidential treasures of bhajana one can learn how to be eager for devotional service.

The acharyas have taught: do bhajana by awakening your want! When feelings of separation have awoken everything can be given up. This stage should be reached through the sane process of balanced detachment and sincere selfless devotion.

One must practise great patience and not try to jump artificially to soaring heights. When I will attain Radha-Madhava’s lotus feet, then all contamination will disappear from my mind and all anxiety will go far away.

Radharani manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

SRI GURU GIVES THE SIDDHA DEHA

The reception of a disciple’s eternal transcendental form, siddha deha, begins with receiving a siddha bhava from Sri Guru at the time of diksha.

The Guru’s individual siddha bhava i.e. one’s eternal fixed loving relationship with Sri Krishna (sthayi-rati) is hidden within the Gopal and Kama-gayatri mantras Sri Guru gives at the time of diksha. Sri Sanatana Goswami confirms the non-difference of Sri Guru and the diksha mantras:

yo- mantra -sa -guruh -sakshad -yo -guruh -sa -harih -svayam

Sri Brahmaji said (Vaman Kalpa), “The diksha mantra is identical to the Guru and the Guru is identical to Bhagavan Sri Hari Himself.” (Bhakti Sandarbha 237: Hari Bhakti Vilasa 4.353). Thus by chanting the diksha mantas, the sincere disciple gradually develops the same sthayi-rati, siddha bhava, as that of Sri Guru.

Right at the time of diksha, the Guru may give a siddha deha to an exceptionally qualified disciple. But usually this is done after some time. One can think that the following direct words of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu indicate receiving a siddha deha from Sri Guru at the time of diksha:

diksha -kale -bhakta -kare -atma-samarpana
sei-kale –krishna -tare -kare atma-sama

“At the time diksha, when a disciple fully surrenders to Sri Guru, Sri Krishna accepts the disciple and makes one as spiritual as Himself.”

Mahaprabhu further says:

sei -deha -kare -tara –cid -ananda-maya
aprakrta-dehe -tanra -carana -bhajaya

“Krishna makes the sadhaka’s body full of transcendental bliss (cid-ananda-maya). Then in one’s spiritual body, siddha deha (aprakrta-deha), one worships the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.”
(Caitanya Caritamrta 3.4.193-4)

In the following verses, Sri Jiva Goswamipada explains how at the time of diksha, the merciful Guru gives divine knowledge of one’s constitutional nature, and special knowledge about the disciple, which many Gurus take to mean revealing the disciple’s siddha deha.

divyam -gyanam -srimati -mantre -bhagavat-svarupa-gyanam,
tena -bhagavata -sambandha-vishesha-gyanam

“At diksha, the Guru gives knowledge of Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s form within a potent mantra, and special knowledge of the disciple’s specific relationship with Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the beautiful mantra Devata.” (Bhakti Sandarbha 283)

In the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya, divya gyanam means knowledge of the jiva’s particular relationship with God which is one of eternal service, jivera -svarupa -haya -krishna -nitya-dasa (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.20.108). Knowledge of a specific relationship can mean the sadhaka’s manjari form (siddha deha) with Sri Gopijanavallabha, the mantra Devata.

upasanam -sakshad -vraja-jana-visheshayaiva –mahyam
sri -guru-caranair -mad-abhishta-vishesha-siddhy-artham -upadishtam

“While worshiping the Gopal diksha mantra, I meditate to develop myself as a specific person in Vraja (my siddha deha) that Sri Guru’s lotus feet have instructed me in to attain the specific siddhi I covet.” (Bhakti Sandarbha 312)

In verse 283, Sri Jiva Goswamipada speaks in a general way about Sri Guru giving special knowledge to the disciple. But in verse 312, Sri Jiva Goswamipada tells exactly what is that special knowledge, namely the knowledge of the disciple’s individual siddha deha!

SADHANA BHAJAN IN SIDDHA DEHA

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructs how to practice raganuga bhakti sadhana in siddha deha:

ataeva -gopi-bhava -kari -angikara
ratri-dina -cinte -radha-krishnera -vihara
siddha-dehe –chinti -kare -tahanni -sevana
sakhi-bhave -paya –radha -krishnera -carana

“Certainly, one must accept gopi-bhava, and think of Radha-Krishna’s asta-kaliya lila. Also one must think of doing seva in one’s siddha deha. By this gopi-bhava one will attain the lotus feet of Radha-Krishna.” (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.8.228-9)

KRISHNA MANIFESTS THE SIDDHA DEHA OF YOUR MEDITATION

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Brahmaji describes how Bhagavan Sri Krishna reveals the siddha deha to the raganuga bhakti sadhaka.

yad -yad –dhiya -ta -urugaya -vibhavayanti,
tat -tad -vapuh -pranayase -sad -anugrahaya

Sri Brahmaji said, “O Bhagavan Sri Krishna! You are so merciful to Your devotees that You manifest Yourself in the particular eternal form of transcendence in which they always think of You.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.11)

The key words are tat -tad-vapuh, which mean a corresponding body. It can be Krishna’s body or one’s individual spiritual body, siddha deha. Grammatically both are possible and both are explained as such by the tikakaras. Sridhar Swami and Srinatha Chakravarti say it refers to Krishna’s showing a particular form of Himself.

However, in his tika, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada says that Sri Krishna gives the sadhaka the siddha deha that one has been continually meditating upon.

sva-bhavanurupam -yad-yad-dhiya -bhavayanti,
tat -tad -eva -vapus tesham -siddha-deham,
pranayase –prakarshena -tan –prapayasi

“The sadhaka bhaktas, according to their bhava, meditate on their siddha dehas which Bhagavan Sri Krishna will give them.”

In His final personal teaching to Sri Rupa Goswamipada, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said:

bhavite -bhavite -krishna -sphuraye -antare
krishna-kripaya -agya -paya -rasa-sindhu-pare

“Krishna will manifest whatever siddha deha one continually thinks of. And by Krishna’s mercy one will attain the ocean of rasa.” (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.19.236)

Based on the Shastra praman of the Srimad Bhagavatam, Caitanya Caritamrta and the teachings of the Six Goswamis, this post has shown how the combined mercy of Sri Guru and Bhagavan Sri Krishna gives one a siddha deha, eternal spiritual form.

For the last 535 years, the traditional parivars within the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya have been teaching the method of raganuga bhakti sadhana as introduced and personally taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to His followers. That system has been presented here.

In summary, one takes diksha from Sri Guru, and receives specific information about one’s individual siddha deha, either immediately during diksha or sometime later according to the will of Sri Guru. The disciple then practices raganuga bhakti sadhana as delineated above by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Then the all-merciful Bhagavan Sri Krishna will kindly give that same siddha deha to the fortunate disciple. Thus the mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna work beautifully together to bring one to spiritual perfection.

(shastra insight courtesy of Sri Advaita Dasji)

Sri Krishna kripa ki jai! Sri Guru kripa ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Tattva: Radha One in a Billion    

Sri Ramananda Raya told Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

shata -koti -gopite -nahe –kama -nirvapana
-ihatei -anumana –sri -radhara -guna

“Not even a billion gopis can extinguish the blazing fire of Krishna’s lusty desires. Only Radha is qualified to do this.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.116)

From this one can understand Sri Radha’s uniquely magnificent glories!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Manjari Tattva: Meeting Minds

While doing bhajan the sadhaka’s mind must meet the minds of the acharyas. Devotional service cannot be rendered while the mind remains in material consciousness. We must be able to exchange thoughts with each other. How pure the mind must be for that!

The sadhaka thinks, “Won’t I become the way Radhika, to whom I have given my life, wants me to be? O Swamini! Then You will not keep any secrets from me anymore!”

To attain Radharani’s seva, a devotee must give one’s whole mind to Radha, giving up everything else! Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami’s mind is in the kingdom of transcendental pastimes. So we forever pray to him for his mercy to accept us into that kingdom too.

Manjari Lila: Seva and Rasodgara

Rasodgara means amorous recollection. For example, while dressing Swamini in Varsana in the morning, the sakhis and manjaris will remind Radha about Her previous intimate amorous pastimes with Shyam, and thereby increase Radha’s prema for Her Priyatam.

While Tulasi-manjari hangs the garland around Swamini’s neck, she reminds Radha of Her past sports with Shyam: “If Shyam was now embracing You, there would be no need and no chance for me to put this garland on You!”

After adorning Srimati with the flower garland, Tulasi-manjari places a big jeweled mirror before Kishori and says: “Hey Shyamaju! Just see now how I decorated You!”

Swamini is enchanted when She sees Her sweet reflection in the mirror, and proudly says: “Tulasi! You really know how to make Krishna enjoy! Even when He sees Me without make-up Krishna becomes enchanted, so I cannot imagine how Krishna will feel when He sees this extraordinary beauty! Everything will be wasted if My hero cannot enjoy all this!”

In this way, Swamini speaks out Her heart to Tulasi in so many beautiful and intimate ways. Suddenly the vision (sphurti) ends so Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami laments and prays for another lila sphurti.

Blessed is this maidservant! How much rasa she makes Swamini relish while serving Radha and engaging Her in rasodgara! This cannot be experienced without allegiance to Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. We must be very very eager to follow them as Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura prays:

rupa-raghunatha-pade -ha-ibe -akuti
kabe -hama -bujhaba -se -yugala-piriti

“When I shall be eager to follow Rupa and Raghunatha, only then I shall be able to divine love affairs of Lila Yugala Radha Govinda.”

Manjari Lila: Radha’s Rasodgara Showing Her Supremacy

One day in Varsana, Sri Radha engaged on rasodgara with Her confidante Visakha-sakhi.

Swamini said, “O Visakhe! I know My beloved Shyam loves Me! From whatever I see and hear I understand that Krishna has given His heart fully to Me! Shyam wears yellow cloth because Bihari loves My bodily luster so much!

“When I go out to bathe at the ghata, Giridhari bathes in the next ghata; and when Shyam is splashed by the water from My body, Hari comes running towards it with wide open arms. Just to touch at least My clothes, Krishna gives His clothes to the same washerman.

“When Hari hears even half a syllable of My name, Krishna becomes very happy. Just to touch My shadow Murari makes so many turns. Wherever My bodily breeze blows Krishna keeps His face in that direction.

“Wherever Shyam smells My bodily fragrance carried by the wind, Shyam stretches out His arms, turns His face, and runs in that direction like a madman. Krishna can’t find ways to express His mind’s eagerness!”

Srimati Radharani ki jai! Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Tattva: Thirst in Bhajan

The raganuga sadhaka should always think: “Is Radhika accepting the service that I offer to Her or not?”

It should not be that one is only doing bhajana for one’s personal happiness. “I have my prasadam, I’m healthy, everything’s OK! How many worldly things, like profit, adoration, distinction, money and fame, a person like me misses, but I never miss Radharani at all!” 

If you think like this, your bhajana will be lifeless and mechanical. All these ulterior motives make the mind very coarse, deceive us in different ways, and prevent us from tasting the clear, spotless flavors of Vraja.

This is not the natural beauty of bhajan. Bhajan is beautiful when you feel some want, some void. The great devotees’ thirst for bhajan can never be quenched, just as the thirst for water of someone who suffers from cholera can never be quenched.

Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura prays: parama -nagara -Krishna, ta-he –hao -ati -trishna, -bhajo –ta -re –vraja -bhava –loiya, “Krishna’s the greatest amorous hero, and one should be very thirsty for Krishna and worship Krishna in Vraja bhava.” Expertise in bhajan does not depend on anything else but thirst.

Manjari Lila: Astonishing Glances of Radhika

Krishna is controlled by His devotees according to the amount of love they have for Krishna. Sri Radhika has the greatest love for Krishna, therefore Radha controls Krishna to the utmost.

When Krishna returns to Nandagram in the afternoon, Swamini stands in Her moontower to discretely admire Krishna’s beauty from a distance.

Nagara Shyam does not look up, however, so Swamini, Her heart flooding with tremendous anguish of love-in-separation, stares fully at Krishna, drinking the boundless nectar of Krishna’s form with the cups of Her eyes. How many hundreds of emotions Radha reveals!

During manasi seva, manjaris bhava upasakas should try to see and feel Radha’s emotions during this exciting time.

Then Shyam looks up at Radhika, and both the Lovers become shy. Sri Radhika pulls Her veil straight and goes away. Then Radha stops and turns around again, thinking: ‘Before I go I have to see Shyam once more’, and casts a slight glance at Govinda.

It is a restless, momentary glance because Radha is very shy. Radha slightly smiles in a nervous way because Radha is so happy to see Krishna. Radha’s beautiful glance is anointed with bashfulness and humility.

Shyam thirsts for that glance of Swamini. How many things is Radha telling Shyam through Her love drenched glances! Radha’s glance is the great medicine that saves the life of Shyam, who also suffers of separation from Srimati. This is the treasure of Krishna’s meditation, so He keeps the sweetness of Radha’s glance carved on the slab of His heart.

Although Krishna controls everything and everyone in creation, these momentary glances of Radha even control Him! Although innumerable gopis are eager for His sweet glance, Krishna eagerly covets Radhika’s slightest beautiful glance!

Tulasi-manjari serves Swamini by carefully anointing Her beautiful eyes with eyeliner while making Radha relish the flavors of remembering these pastimes as well. How wonderful is the beauty of Radha’s kajal-anointed eyes.

Tulasi-manjari jokingly says, “O Radhe! This is not actually kajal (eyeliner), but garal (poison), setting Krishna’s heart on fire! When Krishna sees this kajal He will kiss Your eyes, so that the kajal will stick on Krishna lips! In this way my worship of Your attractive eyes will be complete!”

Manjari bhava sadhakas should meditate on serving Srimati as intimately Tulasi-manjari does, while simultaneously reminding Radhika of Her blissful pastimes with Shyamsundar. Indeed, this the perfection of Vraja bhajan.

Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Lila: Earrings to Spin Shyamsundara

In a vivid vision Tulasi-manjari places hoop-earrings above Srimati’s ears. The kinkaris are very proud of the sweet form of their Ishvari, and they say: “O Radhe! Although it is just an insignificant ornament, these disc earrings will still cause Krishna to spin around after I them put on You! That is my intention! I want to agitate Krishna and make Him spin around like this, searching and searching for You until He meets You!”

Krishna is very dear to the manjaris when He becomes anxious to meet their Sri Radhika. The heart of the kinkari is filled with pride when she sees the sweet form of Radha. How many hundreds of experiences of Krishna Tulasi-manjari gives to Swamini in this way!

The manjari prays to Radharani, “Although I am not qualified to serve You, Radha are so merciful that You have accepted this maidservant!”

Manjari Lila: Radhika’s Musk Dot

Holding a cup with fragrant musk in her left hand and a brush in her right, Tulasi-manjari stands before Swamini. She holds it close to Swamini’s nose so that Radha will remember Krishna’s bodily fragrance. While Radha’s eyes, that extend to Her ears, move around restlessly, Radha asks Tulasi:

“Where is this fragrance coming from? I understand that My Priyatama is coming!

O sakhi! The fragrance of Krishna’s body defeats the smell a blue lotus flower anointed with musk and it maddens the world! It enters women’s noses and always remains sitting there, holding them and taking them to Krishna. It steals the bodies and minds of women and then they become like madwomen.”

Srimati Radha is agitated by smelling the musk and thus shows many sweet emotions through the expressions of Her face and eyes. Understanding that Radha is feeling separation from Krishna, Tulasi-manjari says: “You know what this chin of Yours is? It is the temple of Mukunda’s bliss! This musk drop looks like a baby bee drinking honey from a golden lotus flower!”

Tulasi-manjari prattles on, “Krishna is black so He will become jealous of this drop. The owner of this temple will come and wipe off that drop by kissing Your chin! And that’s exactly what I want!”

In this way, the expert manjari serves Sri Radha by lovingly making so many luscious jokes while putting the musk-drop on Swamini’s chin. This drop makes the natural beauty of Sri Radha’s face even more brilliant! Tulasi-manjari brings strong emotions into Swamini’s heart that is suffering separation. How many memories of different pastimes Tulasi awaken in Swamini’s heart. Blessed is her expertise in service!

Being fully surrendered to Radhika, the maidservants know exactly what is on Swamini’s maha-bhava filled mind, and they serve Radha accordingly. By Swamini’s grace the manjaris know exactly what Radha needs!

Manjari Tattva: Unlimited Mercy

Those who want to make their bhajan a success must depend on the words of the great teachers of manjari bhava sadhana like Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami (Tulasi-manjari). Each syllable of these compassionate rasika acaryas crystallizes one-pointed loyalty to Sri Radha’s lotus feet.

Sri Krishna bestows his mercy after due consideration, but Swamini Radha is endlessly merciful personality because Radha bestows Her mercy without any consideration! Radharani’s compassion will certainly descend when She hears a devotee anxiously praying: “O Radhe! My heart is blinded by illusion! Please purify me and give me shelter at Your sweet lotus feet.”

Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe! 

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Tattva:  Mentally Meeting Sri Krishna

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami personally relished the sweet rasa of manasi-seva and taught it in his books like Vilapa Kusumanjali. Mental service is the very life-force of the externally rendered devotional service. Srimati Radharani accepts all service rendered within the mind by a raganuga sadhaka.

Regarding Sri Krishna’s acceptance of manasi-seva, Sri Rupa Goswamipada says (Bhakti-rasa-amrita 1.2.182)

manasen -opacarena
paricarya -harim -sada
pare -van -manasa -gamyam
tam -sakshat -pratipedire

“One who always serves Bhagavan Sri Hari with items produced in the mind, will directly meet Sri Hari, who is otherwise not perceivable with material words or mind.”

Manjari Lila: Bihari the Barber Girl

The service of Sri Radha is so attractive that Sri Hari sometimes dresses like a barber-girl, dhari -napitani –vesh, to enter mother Jatila’s house. Holding a mirror and nail polish in His hand, Krishna goes to the place where Radha is sitting.

Then that humorous, amorous “barber girl” sits down, opens her golden box and fills a clean jug with scented water. She makes Radhika’s nails as beautiful as the moon with Her wonderful nail polish.

Then she rubs Radha’s feet with footlac while constantly seeing whether it looks good. Holding Kishori’s feet to her chest, the barber girl writes her name on Radha’s footsoles in a wonderful way.

The barber-girl says: “O fortunate girl! Look at Your feet and consider if my work is good or bad.”

Looking carefully, Suvadani Radha says, “Ohe! What name have you written there? Introduce yourself to Me!”

“O fortunate girl! My name is Shyamaa and I live in Your town.”

However, the barber girl accidentally wrote her name Shyamaa as Shyam which means Krishna.

Radha says, “Why did you write THAT name?”

The barber girls apologizes saying, “I am sorry, I cannot spell so well.”

Seeing through Krishna’s hoax, Radhika Rai says, “Rogue! It’s YOU (Krishna).”

The service of Premamayi Radha is the greatest wealth of Rasika Raja Sri Krishna. The manjaris witnessing Krishna’s spoof feel very proud of their Swamini Radha, whose seva is most desirable even for atmaramata –svayam Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe! 

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Tattva: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as s Manjari

How glorious are the kinkaris, who are dedicated to the service of the full madana -mahabhava personified, Srimati Radhika! Krishna became Gaura to taste the prema that Radhika feels for Him. And after Mahaprabhu experienced that, Sri Chaitanya also wanted to taste the nectar of the kinkari’s service.

While Mahaprabhu relished the mood of Radha’s manjaris, sometimes Gauranga’s hands, legs and head would all enter within His body, just like the withdrawn limbs of a tortoise, kurma-chaitanya (Chaitanya Charitamrta 2.2.13). Or sometimes Mahaprabhu’s limbs would loosen and stretch out.

Chaitanya Charitamrta (Antya 14.105-110) describes Mahaprabhu’s mad words after He came out of His kurmakrti (turtle-form). Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said:

“Today I went to Govardhana Hill to see if Krishna was tending His cows there. Climbing on Govardhana Hill, Krishna played His flute, surrounded by the cows. Hearing the flute song, Srimati Radha came there. O sakhi, I cannot describe Her form and mood! Krishna took Radha by the hand and entered a cave with Her, while the sakhis told Me to pick some flowers.”

Here it is clear that Mahaprabhu, in the pinnacle of His ecstatic absorption, is relishing the mood of Radha’s manjaris. For the service of Radha-Madhava the sakhis have asked the kinkaris to pick flowers and Mahaprabhu is amongst them.

Another example of Mahaprabhu’s manjari bhava is the time He almost drowned in the ocean due to divine rapture (Chaitanya Charitamrta 3. 80-105). All His joints became disconnected out of ecstasy, and Mahaprabhu told His devotees in half-external consciousness:

“Seeing the Yamuna-river I went to Vrndavana, where I saw Vrajendranandan playing in the water with Sri Radhika and the gopis, having great fun. I stayed on the shore with the other sakhis, while one sakhi showed this pastime to the others.”

Here Mahaprabhu explains that He did not play an active role in Krishna’s pastimes, but that He was relishing a service-position like that of a manjari witnessing these sweet pastimes. Besides tasting and experiencing manjari bhava, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught it to the devotees through Sri Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami.

Manjari Tattva: Manjaris’ Responsibility

To taste the sweetness of the love in Vraja, one must give up the attitude of awe and reverence towards Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Vraja is the kingdom of sweetness and the upasana (method of worship and meditation) of Vraja rasa is a sweet upasana. The love of Vraja is as pure as molten gold, and there’s not even a whiff of personal happiness in the hearts of Krishna’s Vrajavasi devotees.

Srimati Radharani sings (Chaitanya Charitamrta 3.20.58):

“Krishna is My life and soul. Krishna is the treasure of My life. Indeed, Krishna is the very life of My life. I therefore keep Krishna always on My heart and I make Krishna happy with My service. I always meditate on this.”

And Radha’s maidservants always meditate on the pleasure of Yugala Kishora. Radha and Krishna have given Themselves to Each other and left all responsibilities for the arrangements of Their loving affairs to the sakhis and the manjaris. The playful Sri Yugala have taken shelter of them. Sometimes Radha and Krishna become helpless and find no other means to meet without taking shelter of the manjaris.

Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!